Ladbible parent buys US firm focused on women

LBG Media CEO Solly Solomou

LBG Media plc, the Manchester-based parent of Ladbible, announced the acquisition of Betches Media, a US-based media brand “founded by women and focussed on digital media content production and publication for women.”

LBG Media said the acquisition is for an initial cash consideration of $24 million with up to a further $30 million cash payable in instalments, subject to Betches achieving certain revenue and profitability targets to 2026.

Betches was established in New York in 2011 by three female co-founders, who are all remaining with the business post-acquisition.

“Betches is a high growth, cash-generative, and profitable business, where 92% of revenue is direct and derived primarily from long-term recurring partnerships with blue-chip brands,” said LBG Media.

“With approximately 32 million followers, Betches has a highly engaged following and delivers its unique perspective through social, branded partnerships, live-events, merchandise, podcasts and newsletters.

“Women represent approximately 86% of its overall audience, engaging with brands that are focused on passion points such as moms, brides, travel, relationships and humour.

In the year ended 31 December 2022, Betches generated over $14.6 million of revenue (unaudited) and delivered $3.9 million Adjusted EBITDA, representing a margin of approximately 27%, having grown revenues by 44% on the prior year.”

Explaining the strategic rationale of the deal, LBG said: “The US represents the world’s largest advertising market. As well as enhancing the group’s existing direct revenue stream, LBG Media’s existing brands will benefit from the additional capabilities and revenue channels that Betches brings, including podcasts and newsletters.

“The acquisition enables LBG Media to accelerate its presence and understanding of the North American market, while developing deeper relationships with US brands and agencies.

Betches will remain a stand-alone business, but will work with LBG Media’s existing US team to develop larger direct brand partnership opportunities that can span LBG Media and Betches brands and audiences.

“This announcement builds on the successful acquisition of UNILAD in 2018, another US-focused publisher, and the group continues to evaluate acquisition opportunities with the intention of building capabilities and/or expanding geographic reach.”

LBG Media CEO Solly Solomou said: “The joining of LBG Media and Betches is an incredibly exciting milestone in the group’s story, progressing a key element of the strategy that we set out at the time of IPO, and since.

“This deal brings together two highly successful, growth-focused businesses with complementary brands and skills, similar cultures and amazing teams, to create a world-class proposition.

“The opportunity for the enlarged group is exciting, as we will be better positioned to capitalise on the significant US audience and advertising market. I look forward to welcoming the Betches team to LBG Media.”

Betches CEO Aleen Dreksler said: “It’s a very exciting day in the history of Betches as we begin this next chapter with LBG Media, a highly influential media owner with massive global reach.

“Betches has been on the cutting edge of women’s media and disrupting internet culture in the US for over a decade, and this acquisition will enable us to achieve new heights in our global footprint, new original programming, brand partners, and much more.

“The synergy between LBG and Betches is unmatched, with our similar origin stories and passion for connecting with millennial and Gen Z audiences, making this a natural next step for our company.

“We remain committed to our ambition to be the number one humour platform for women globally and are confident that the legacy we have built for Betches will continue to thrive with the newfound support of LBG Media and its leadership.